Kraftens biologi : En läsning av Hegels ”Kraft och förstånd” utifrån Leibniz organiska världsbild
Sammanfattning: This work seeks to trace the influence of G.W. Leibniz on G.W.F. Hegel and the chapter called ‘Force and the Understanding’ in his Phänomenologie des Geistes. Using Leibniz’s theory of forces developed in texts such as Specimen Dynamicum, in which Leibniz argues against the Cartesians in favour of a ‘dynamic’ view on substances, it is here argued that the notion of biological life is of crucial importance for understanding Hegel’s transition from Consciousness to Self-Consciousness at the end of ‘Force and the Understanding’. For Leibniz, force is posited as that which gives unity to the monad, and this by functioning as their inner source of activity. This infusion of activity into the monad gives rise both to the physical world of bodies, as well as to the mental world of consciousnesses. Leibniz also sees force in direct analogy with biological life, as they share one characteristic feature, namely the capacity for ‘perception’ and ‘desire’. Consequently, organic life is for Leibniz what is most real in the world, uniting all bodies with a conscious soul. This move, I argue, is essential for understanding Hegel in ‘Force and the Understanding. More specifically, when Hegel’s consciousness discovers that, through the dialectic of force and law, organic life has become its new object, it also realizes that its faculty of the Understanding [Verstand] is related to its very own biological nature. The outer world of appearance, consciousness realizes, is thereby intimately connected to the inner of things, the so called supersensible world. Hegel thus regards consciousness of biological life as a sort of bridge that unites the Understanding with the concept, or rather, unites internal thinking with the outside world. This gives rise to Consciousness’ awareness of its own thinking, which is equivalent to it becoming a Self-consciousness.
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